Social Question

josie's avatar

Help settle an argument. Am I "Pro-Choice" or not?

Asked by josie (27956points) June 18th, 2011

I got into an interesting debate with a friend last night. She is pretty smart, and this one made me think.

I said that I do not care if women get abortions or not. I said that it is not my business and the Political State should not make it their business either.
Therefore, that makes me “Pro-Choice”

I also said that taxpayer money should NOT be used to pay for it, since some people have a serious objection to practice.

According to her, I am not “Pro-Choice”.
My friend says that “Pro-Choice” is not a metaphysical term, it is a political term. Being “Pro-Choice” means that you permit the practice, PLUS taxpayers money is available.

In other words “Pro-Choice” is a package deal.

She said the reason for this is that the whole basic issue behind legalizing abortion came not from women’s rights, but from a social engineering concern that without it there would be too many children born from poor or non productive parents.

So am I “Pro-Choice” or not?

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33 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

You’re pro choice. And sensible.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You are pro-choice. It has nothing to do with the funding.

BTW, I’m probably close to being a socialist, and I don’t think the government should pay for abortions. But I do believe that abortions should be legally available, should a woman decide to choose that course of action. I don’t believe it’s anyone else’s business.

Abortion, like plastic surgery and boob jobs, is elective.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes,you are pro-choice.

filmfann's avatar

Pro-Choice refers to allowing someone to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
The money issue is different. You are pro-choice. And, yes, you have common sense.

Cruiser's avatar

Pro choice all the way.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@BarnacleBill Abortion is not always elective, there are circumstances when an abortion can be life saving intervention in a medical emergency. For example, I recently read about a woman US who suffered had a placental abruption. (Exactly what it sounds like, the placenta which has the blood supply of both mother and baby explodes). She was in the ER bleeding to death, the foetus long past being viable and no doctor in the hospital was trained to perform an abortion, the only treatment. By the time they’d got a doc who could do the treatment she was seconds from death. In a nation which prides itself on the quality of the healthcare it provides there is no reason why that womans life should have been put so at risk.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I stand in your camp. But I am willing to pay for it in case of rape, or other extenuating circumstances: developmentally disabled, drug addicted. If I pay for it then the DNA of the father and mother must go into a database.

I always thought of myself as pro-choice.

everephebe's avatar

I personally think that everyone is secretly Pro-Choice, as Pro-Life is still one of the choices.

roundsquare's avatar

Yes, you are pro-choice. What your friend is doing is changing the meaning of the term. Source

“The abortion-rights movement, generally called the pro-choice movement by its proponents, is a political movement encompassing the ethical view that a woman should have the legal right to terminate a pregnancy.” (Emphasis added).

@everephebe Is that a serious statement? Pro-choice doesn’t mean “letting people choose things” it means “legally allowing a woman to choose to have an abortion.”

zenvelo's avatar

You are pro-choice, I think everyone is in agreement on that.

I question your pretty smart friend and her motivation. Is she in favor of “the whole package”? Or is she using that concept to be against choice?

The basic issue behind the Supreme Court finding anti-abortion laws unconstitutional was that women have a right to privacy in control of their own bodies. The State has no right over a woman’s body.

everephebe's avatar

@roundsquare Yes, I’m serious. I mean, unless the Pro-Lifer has the arrogance to say that because they think one way everyone else should then, they have made their own personal choice.

I don’t know where you’re quotes are coming from, not the wiki page I don’t think.
“Legally allowing a woman to choose to have an abortion” + or not, is my definition I’m working with here for pro-choice.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, you are pro-choice, of course. Believing that a woman has a right to choose abortion and how the abortion is going to be paid for are two separate issues. If a woman is in tax payer funded medical plan like Medicaid and needs an abortion in order to save her life then it should be covered, like any other medical procedure, or in the case of rape or incest and the woman wanted an abortion, or if the fetus was seriously deformed and would survive birth only to suffer and die shortly after I would support paying for that abortion, otherwise I don’t really support tax payer funded abortions. On the other hand, my taxes go to fund things like executions and I am opposed to the death penalty so I am paying for something I oppose, in part, on moral and ethical grounds.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I’ll vote that you are pro-choice as well.
My perception is the same, CHOICE, regardless of funding methodology.

janbb's avatar

Yes – you are pro-choice. However, I do believe it is short-sighted in some respects to not allow for taxpayer funding for indigent women’s abortions if they want them since much more taxpayer money will be spent on social services and, potentially incarceration for unwanted and perhaps, poorly raised children..

linguaphile's avatar

You are definitely pro choice, like everyone else said, and I agree that how it’s funded is a completely separate issue.
I like to say that I’m pro-choice for others, but pro-life for myself—while I have no opinion of others choosing abortions, I couldn’t have one myself, which essentially, still makes me pro-choice. I’ve wondered what type of reaction I’d get if I put a pro-choice AND pro-life bumper sticker on my vehicle. Should do that and put a hidden camera in the trunk and sell it to the TV’s!

dabbler's avatar

@josie definitely pro-choice, opinions on funding does not alter that.
@janbb I agree, public funding for abortions is cost-effective.
Anyone who doesn’t want to spend public money on abortions would you rather spend a lot more on schools and jails for unwanted kids?

roundsquare's avatar

@everephebe Its the first line in the wiki page.

But yes, that is the whole point of the pro-life movement they are against all abortions.

“The pro-life movement is a political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction.

What is it you think are the two sides of the pro-choice vs. pro-life debate?

FutureMemory's avatar

@josie Your friend is wrong in this instance.

roundsquare's avatar

Though… in your friends defense… pro-life people would be against taxpayer funded abortions.

linguaphile's avatar

I find it interesting that pro choice is essentially a political argument, and pro life is essentially a moral argument. Aren’t those incompatible arguments? (this is a social question, so I’m throwing this in)

WasCy's avatar

Of course you’re Pro-Choice, without a doubt. I also agree that the government should not be funding abortions, partly for the reasons you mentioned: those who believe that abortion is murder should not be compelled to participate in the payment for the practice. (I also oppose the death penalty along similar grounds, by the way, and for the explicit reason that it is state-sanctioned murder. I don’t believe that a fetus has legal status as a human, so abortion is not “murder” in my eyes. I still abhor the idea that some consider it a necessity.) I don’t “like” abortion, but I don’t think it should be illegal. (I also don’t “like” drugs – even alcohol, much – but don’t think they should be outlawed, either.)

But by the same token, that’s why I believe that the government should not fund abortions due to rape or incest, and for the exact same principle. A fetus is a fetus, and “how” it became quickened is of no concern to it. If I considered it murder that a careless teenage girl got knocked up and decided to terminate an “unplanned and unwanted” pregnancy that she achieved through consensual sex with a boyfriend, then it would still be murder no matter how awfully the pregnancy was started without her consent.

This is black-and-white. I don’t see a middle ground.

On the other hand, in practical terms, how good a mother-to-be is an unwillingly pregnant woman going to be? It seems that even apart from her desire to terminate the pregnancy, even if she has no sanctioned means to achieve that end, her interest in healthy living, eating, exercising, and even her own self-preservation might be compromised to an extent that could make the “successful” birth a long-term tragedy for the infant and child.

But aside from all of that, I don’t think that the government should even be paying for the most basic health care, except for those who become wards of the state for one reason or another, or in government service, etc.

WasCy's avatar

On the other hand… adding to my response above… I do agree that there’s some merit in what your friend said. That is, the “practice” of abortion has been pretty well marginalized and made difficult (if not impossible) to achieve in many parts of the country. For example, “waiting period” restrictions very clearly make abortions more expensive to poor women. When the abortion clinic is located far from home (because of relative unavailability) and a woman has to travel to the site – and then “wait a day” before the procedure can be achieved – then all of a sudden living arrangements and meals become a concern. This is a big issue for someone who may already be stretched by simply paying the transportation fare and the fee for the procedure and recovery. Now she has to add a motel room and extra meals to the cost.

So it’s true that by the practice of restricting access, making sure that women “wait a day” and become “fully informed” and other “well-meaning” hurdles, abortions are more difficult to obtain than most other medical procedures. (Is it strange that there’s no corresponding legal “fully informed” requirement for women who choose to carry babies to term?)

Lightlyseared's avatar

@WasCy maybe people should be made to wait a day before they have sex in the first place.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Lightlyseared, I agree that it’s not always elective. My sister waited until after 20 weeks to have an ultrasound and found out that the baby she was carrying had no brain stem, and its internal organs were outside of its body. The pregnancy was terminated at 28 weeks; insurance paid.

I think the taxpayer argument is about tax dollars funding Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood, because of its sliding fee scale, funding abortions for low income women who cannot afford the $1200 (is that what it still costs) to have an abortion in a private doctor’s office or clinic as a private paying patient. Which basically denies legal medical abortions to low income women because they cannot afford the fees, resulting in the choice of carrying the pregnancy to term or an illegal abortion.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

You’re whatever you choose to call yourself. Believe it or not, most people don’t fall squarely into one radical camp or another – the binary of choice vs life is really only useful if you’re running for office.

roundsquare's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I’m not sure that’s true. Many pro-lifers do have some categorical exceptions for rape, incest or situations where the woman’s life/health is in danger, but these are relatively small, statistically speaking (at least in the US). Other than these, I’m not sure I see much middle ground between pro-life and pro-choice. What is the middle ground view you see?

SavoirFaire's avatar

I would call you pro-choice. The pro-choice/pro-life debate is about the legal status of abortion. There are a host of issues surrounding the politics of reproduction, and you just happen to not support something that other people who share one of your opinions often do support. My own thought is that my taxes get used for all sorts of legal things I disagree with, so why should the fact that some people don’t like abortion get special privileges regarding how their tax money is used?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@roundsquare I don’t know that I’d call it middle ground. But if you want abortion to be legal except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger, that’s not the same thing as wanted exceptions for rape and incest as well, or wanting exceptions for when it’s not a viable pregnancy… On the pro-choice side, there are many who want abortion legal, but believe it’s morally wrong, or the easy way out, or against God’s wishes, or want certain restrictions like waiting periods, parental consent, etc. I’d call @josie pro-choice (but that’s not my call…) but he’s obviously not pro-choice in the same way I am – I want tax dollars paying for it unless we’re never going to pay for anything someone might have a problem with (tearing down ecosystems, military, bombs, etc). I don’t think abortion is in any way morally wrong, or the easy way out, etc. So when you created this binary (same as with all binaries) you make it so that it appears as though there are only two sides, not a myriad of views. It’s sorta like Democrats vs Republicans – just because someone is a Democrat doesn’t automatically mean you know their personal views on gay marriage, social security, abortion, taxes, women’s rights, etc. There’s a new report out showing just how varied opinions can be.

perspicacious's avatar

Your friend doesn’t sound smart at all. If you think women should be able to get an at-will abortion legally, you are pro choice. The rest of it is a different conversation.

jerv's avatar

I say that you are pro-choice.

As for taxpayer money going towards things that a large percentage of Americans don’t approve of, I must ask “Why does that suddenly matter all of a sudden?”. Look at the opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Look at the bailouts. People still get unemployment and welfare despite the best efforts of some, and we also have taxpayer money paying to put “In God we trust” and other Christian things in/on government buildings.

So with all of these highly contentious things that government uses taxpayer money for despite the moral objections of many of their voters, why is this issue appreciably different?

josie's avatar

@jerv @SavoirFaire
Well if it will make you feel better, the federal government is not empowered to bail out banks, and pay unemployment benefits, or construct a ponzi scheme/retirement fund either.

The governemnt is however empowered to raise and pay for an army.
Congress has the power to declare war or not. Presidents since Truman, including the current one, have committed the military on executive power alone. All that does is demonstrate the cowardice of elected representatives.

But that is off topic anyway.

roundsquare's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs Fair enough. I don’t actually consider the other elements you laid out part of “pro-choice” vs “pro-life” but at this point I’m just quibbling (as is my habit).

SavoirFaire's avatar

@josie I didn’t say anything about war. I’m talking about paying politicians. I don’t support that one bit.

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